Fliegauf, Raag, Fehner, Radulescu and De Raaf at Cinéfondation Workshop
by Fabien Lemercier
01/04/2008 - Hungary’s Benedek Fliegauf , Estonia’s Ilmar Raag, France’s Léa Fehner, Romanian duo Razvan Radulescu and Melissa De Raaf , and Serbian director Oleg Novkovic will represent Europe with their new feature film projects which are among the 15 selected at the 4th edition of the Cannes Festival Cinéfondation Workshop.
Created in 2005 in order to help promising directors make up the funding shortfall for their films, they will have the chance to attend the Workshop in Cannes from May 16-23, accompanied by their producers, and have private meetings with professionals who are interested in their projects.
Hungary will be represented by Fliegauf’s Womb. Produced by Inforg Studio in co-production with German company Razor Film, this project – which is part of the ScripTeast programme – has already received €200,000 in financial backing from the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein.
Thirty-three year-old Fliegauf first attracted attention in 2003 at the Berlinale Forum with his debut feature Forest. He then went on to direct the multiple award-winning Dealer (2004) before writing and directing Milky Way (see news), an experimental film that won the Golden Leopard at last summer’s Locarno Festival, in the Filmmakers of the Present section, and scooped three awards at Hungarian Film Week 2008, including a Special Jury Prize.
Eastern Europe will also be in the spotlight with One More Croissant by Estonian director Raag whose debut feature The Class [trailer] picked up two awards at Karlovy Vary 2007 (Special Mention in the "East of the West" section and the Europa Cinemas Label award). Estonia’s hopeful for the 2008 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, this debut feature was also presented at the New Cinema Network at the RomeFilmFest.
The director described his new project as a melodrama "that resembles Almodóvar’s films”. He commented: “It is inspired by my mother’s life and the way in which a trip to Paris transformed her, lifting her out of depression. It will be a moving film about an encounter between two characters in despair, who learn a lot from one another."
Romania will be represented by First of All, Felicia, a debut feature project by Radulescu and De Raaf. Produced by HiFilm Production, the film traces a day in the life of a woman torn between her original family in Bucharest (mother, father and sister) and the family she has created abroad.
France will put in an appearance at the Workshop with a debut feature: Fehner’s Qu’un seul tienne, et les autres suivront. Produced by Rezo Films, this film – which has already been granted an advance on receipts by the National Centre for Cinematography (CNC) - centres on two women and a man whose paths cross in prison.
An old Algerian woman wants to meet the man who murdered her son. A 15-year-old girl seeks an adult to accompany her on her prison visits to a petty criminal, and a young blood delivery man is asked to swap places with a crook in the visiting room so that the latter can escape.
List of projects at 2008 Workshop:
Australia – Cure For Serpents - Ben Hackworth (second feature)
China – Bitch - Lou Ye (sixth feature)
Colombia – The Stoplight Society - Ruben Mendoza (debut feature)
Estonia – One More Croissant - Ilmar Raag (second feature)
US - Here - Braden King (debut feature)
US - Lucky Life - Lee Isaac Chung (second feature)
France – Qu’un seul tienne, et les autres suivront - Léa Fehner (debut feature)
Hungary – Womb - Benedek Fliegauf (third feature)
Israel – The Policeman - Nadav Lapid (debut feature)
Romania - First of all, Felicia - Razvan Radulescu & Melissa De Raaf (debut feature)
Serbia - White, White World - Oleg Novkovic (fourth feature)
Somalia - Queleh Abdi - Ismael Jama (debut feature)
Taiwan/US - First Page Taipei - Arvin Chen (debut feature)
Uruguay - Punta del Este - Juan Pittaluga (second feature)
Vietnam - Bi, Don’t be Afraid - Phan Dang Di (debut feature)
(Translated from French)